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Smart Mfg Seminar Series

Advanced Composites - June

Advanced Composites Manufacturing for Aerospace

June 14:   June 15:  


Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel
150 West 500 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Room Reservations

Composites provide numerous advantages within the aerospace industry. They are lightweight and exhibit higher strength and stiffness than competing materials, which results in improved fuel efficiency, an increase in passenger carrying capacity, low emissions, and low maintenance costs. Attend this event and experience how aerospace companies are finding new ways to apply, machine, finish, and automate composite processes.

This seminar will bring together leaders from industry, government and academia to explore emerging ways to leverage advances in composite manufacturing processes and systems, along with business best practices, to speed innovation and better compete in the global marketplace.

Why Attend?

  • Get cutting-edge knowledge on composite applications, processes and best practices
  • Evaluate critical emerging technologies that will enable expansion of composites
  • Identify innovative manufacturing processes that enable low-cost composite manufacturing
  • Determine the critical features for successful composite structure assembly
  • Be part of a one-of-a-kind event defining the future of a growth industry
  • Make valuable face-to-face connections with manufacturing engineers and management from the aerospace & defense industry

Who Should Attend?

This seminar is intended for individuals looking for information related to efficient solutions for composites manufacturing and includes engineering disciplines from manufacturing, design, industrial, tooling, quality, and mechanical. Engineers, technicians, and manufacturing personnel involved in the design, manufacture, layup, assembly and testing of composite parts will benefit from information presented in this seminar.

Cost to Attend

Pricing Information SME Members Non-Members Academia Government/Military*
(15% discount as shown below)
Full-Time Students**
(50% discount as shown below)
Tour – no discounts $95 $95 $95 $95
Tutorial $200 $250 $170/$212.50 $100/$125
Seminar $595 $695 $505.75/$590.75 $297.50/$347.50
Seminar/Tutorial Package $695 $820 $590.75/$697 $347.50/$410

*Academic, Military & Government Pricing: To qualify for the reduced rate you must submit a letter on appropriate military/government letterhead signed by your Commanding Officer or supervisor to the SME Registrar. Educators may submit either a letter on university letterhead signed by the dean or registrar confirming status or a class schedule inclusive of the institution/year/instructor.

**Full-Time Students: To qualify for student rates, submit a letter on university letterhead signed by the dean or registrar confirming full-time student status or provide a copy of your student I.D. to the SME Registrar.

Event Agenda

Closed – Tour of Janicki Industries Layton Facility

Tuesday, June 14
8:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Janicki Industries logo

Janicki Tour

Janicki Industries’ (JI) Layton Utah manufacturing facility has been machining fly-away parts since its opening in 2011. Primarily focused on ‘Machining Services’ for large and complex composite and metallic components, the Utah facility features 3 of JI’s 9 large 5-axis machines, all of which are designed and manufactured by Janicki. Blending the latest in Laser Metrology equipment with the custom-built machines and software results in unparalleled accuracy and reliability.

Supporting JI’s primary location in Sedro-Woolley WA, JI Utah also offers machining, finishing and assembly of JI’s key tooling technologies including carbon-epoxy, carbon-BMI, Steel, Invar and other tooling materials. During the tour, attendees will experience Composites Machining, Metallic Machining, Laser Metrology, Composites Post-Machining Activities (countersinks, visual inspections, trimmed edge sealing).

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM Check in at the Sheraton Hotel & Board Bus
8:30 AM Bus Departs the Sheraton Hotel for the Tour Facility
9:15 AM Arrive at the Tour Facility
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM Tour of Janicki Industries
10:45 AM Bus Departs for the Sheraton Hotel
11:30 AM Bus Arrives at the Sheraton Hotel

Tour Guidelines:
In order to register for the tour, you must also register to attend the seminar or a tutorial. Registration is closed for the tour.  

  • Attendance is limited and approval by the host facility is required to attend.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen. Proof of U.S. Citizenship/Photo ID will be required on-site.
  • Substitutions are NOT permitted after June 3, 2016.
  • Refunds will not be given after this date.
  • Transportation will be provided from the Sheraton Hotel to and from the tour facility.
  • No cameras, videos, note-taking, sketching, or phone use while on the tour.
  • Closed-toe shoes must be worn.
  • No more than 2 employees from the same company may register for the tour.

Concurrent Tutorials

Tuesday, June 14

Assembly & Joining of Composite Materials

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

George Bullen
George N. Bullen, CPIM
President & CEO
Smart Blades, Inc.

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This workshop will address the challenges related to the assembly of composite structure and cover a broad spectrum of factors across a range of disciplines – design, manufacturing, quality and logistics. Within these disciplines, there are many elements that affect the cost and the time required to assemble composite parts and components into subassemblies and assemblies. In this workshop these factors will be addressed and their impact on fabrication and assembly cost and schedule discussed in more detail. The context of the workshop is focused on aircraft structure, but many of the principles and ideas apply to structures in marine, transportation, energy and other industrial sectors.

The workshop discussion will revolve around three basic topics:

  1. Weight savings
  2. Part count reduction
  3. Design for manufacturing and assembly (DFMA)

There is a great deal of interrelationship between these topics and the usual set of trade-offs and compromises that are needed to develop the right balance to meet economic and performance objectives. Weight optimization often leads to increased design complexity and more difficult manufacturing. Part count reduction can provide weight savings and assembly savings, but increased detailed part manufacturing complexity. The trade-offs require a systems level perspective to achieve the best overall approach. The argument will be made that it all falls under the umbrella of DFMA.

Automated Composites Lamination

1:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Carroll Grant
Carroll Grant
Aerospace Composites Consultant

Read bio


Vern Benson
Vern Benson
Independent Consultant

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Barrett Milenski
Barrett Milenski
Orbital ATK

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Orbital ATK

This tutorial will provide a detailed review of the Automated Tape Layer (ATL) and Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) composites processes and variations of these processes. Presentations will include a brief developmental history of ATL / AFP, a detailed description of each technology, how these technologies are used in the aerospace industry, current State of the Art (SOTA) technology, and a vision for where these processes are going in the future. The information presented in this tutorial will be related primarily to aircraft composites and will also include the following:

  • Who are the suppliers of lamination equipment (ATL & AFP)
  • Selecting the right process for the application
  • Designing a component for the selected process
  • Investment decision regarding purchase of lamination equipment

Topics include:

  • History / Evolution of Automation
    • Automated Tape Layer (ATL)
    • Automated Fiber Placement (AFP)

  • ATL Technology
    • Overview, strengths / weaknesses, etc. / State of the Art (SOTA)

  • AFP Technology
    • Overview, strengths / weaknesses, etc. / State of the Art (SOTA)
    • Wide tape and dry fiber lay up

  • New Automation Technology
    • Automated Stiffener Forming (ASF) Technology

  • Panel Discussion
    • Other new technology (work cells, robots)

Seminar: Advanced Composites Manufacturing for Aerospace

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


8:00-8:30 AM
Registration & Check-In for Seminar

8:30-8:40 AM
Opening Remarks

Carroll Grant
Seminar Chair:
Carroll Grant
Aerospace Composites Consulting

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8:45-9:15 AM
Utah’s Advanced Composite Industry and its Impact on Economic Development

Jeff Edwards
Jeff Edwards
President & CEO
Economic Development Corporation of Utah

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Economic Development Corporation of Utah

9:20-9:50 AM
The Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI)

Greg Jones
Greg Jones
Associate Director
University of Utah

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UAMMI was formed to bring together public, private, community, industry, and educational partners to assure the growth and sustainment of Utah's advanced composites industry. UAMMI is designated as a Department of Commerce Investing in Manufacturing Community Partnership (IMCP) and garnering support from the State of Utah's legislature. In recent months UAMMI has invested in the infrastructure of the regional technology colleges; bringing together industry to better understand and utilize the regional supply chain; and defining regional workforce development initiatives. Near future work promises to extend Utah's ability to build a regional research mission in advanced composites and aerospace sustainment.

10:15-10:45 AM
Overview of Composite Assembly Issues and Concerns

George Bullen
George N. Bullen, CPIM
President & CEO
Smart Blades, Inc.

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This presentation will discuss some of major issues involved with assembling composite parts. This includes monolithic co-cured or bonded assemblies that replace multiple part assemblies as well as assembly of components with composite parts. General issues with some examples presented relative to Commercial, military, and space vehicles.

10:50-11:20 AM
Automation for Composites

Todd Rudberg
Todd Rudberg
Senior Engineer
Electroimpact, Inc.

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11:25-11:55 AM
Robots Mainstream in Composites Manufacturing Automation for Aircraft Fuselage Stiffeners & Frames

Tim Olschewski
Tim Olschewski
Project Manager & Lead Engineer
Orbital ATK-Flight Systems Group

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Orbital ATK

Attendees will observe several applications of robotic systems being utilized within a composite manufacturing facility. Robotic systems used for fabrication of uncured or the laminating of composite parts will be discussed. Additional topics include post-cure and the machining of composite parts and how mainstream robotics can be a viable solution for a variety of composite manufacturing applications.

12:00-1:15 PM
Lunch & Exhibits

1:20-1:50 PM
Composite Trim & Drill

Tye Reid
Tye Reid
Engineering Manager
Janicki Industries

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To meet the growing demand for fuel efficient and low running cost airframes, aerospace manufacturers are rapidly increasing the use of lightweight composite materials. Leading the way in this new-era of aircraft design are Boeing’s 787 and Airbus’s A350, both featuring carbon-composite primary fuselage structures. As these composite components now make up more and more of the aircraft, manufacturers are finding new tools and material combinations to solve the vast number of size and shape combinations found on a modern airframe. While the forming and mechanical properties of the composite materials have been moving forward at a blazing pace, the solution for trimming and drilling the material to final form has been slow to adapt.

The standard in composite trimming, HCD Drills, PCD inserted tools, and Diamond Coated Routers, work as intended on some composites but fail to produce quality cuts on other composites, all while adding a measurable cost to the production process. In addition, the legacy approach of using a rigid, hard tool fixture for securing the composite piece while cutting adds significant cost to the manufacturing process; accounting for over 1/3 of the tooling cost to produce composites. To meet the cost points demanded by major commercial airlines, the composites manufacturing industry needs to continue to invest in advanced technologies for the trim and drill process. Areas of promising advancement include Flexible tooling, where a single component is no longer tied to a unique tool, and cutter-less trimming technologies such as waterjet and laser cutting.

1:55-2:25 PM
Same Qualified Resin Transfer Molding: Same Specification, Improved Quality & Reduced Variability

Jeff Perkins
Jeff Perkins
Radius Engineering

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Same Qualified Resin Transfer Molding (SQRTM) provides manufacturers of CFRP aerospace components the ability to produce aircraft Primary Structure, in accordance with an approved autoclave specification, as an OOA (Out Of Autoclave) process. A SQRTM process results in highly repeatable dimensional tolerances which may allow for optimization of CFRP structures for minimal weight. Tight dimensional control of SQRTM parts lowers assembly costs using determinate assembly techniques, eliminating labor intensive and variable assembly steps. These are a few of the benefits that manufacturers will realize when they move from traditional autoclave production to OOA SQRTM production. This is a direct result of the ability to use the same toughened resin prepreg materials in a closed mold and heated press with highly repeatable control of temperature and pressure.

2:50-3:20 PM
NDI of Composite Aerospace Structures

Tyler Papulak
Tyler Papulak
Senior Test Engineer, Inspection Development Group
Orbital ATK

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Orbital ATK

A review of the methodologies and techniques Orbital ATK is utilizing and investigating to inspect various composite aerospace structures will be presented. Methodologies and techniques will cover ultrasound, thermography, X-ray, shearography, modal acoustic emissions, and machine vision. Advantages and disadvantages of each method will be covered as well as some design considerations for method selection will be reviewed based on the type of composite structure.

3:25-3:55 p.m.
Interactive Group Discussion: The State of the Composites Industry
George Bullen, Smart Blades, Inc.
Carroll Grant, Aerospace Composites Consulting
Todd Rudberg, Electroimpact, Inc.

4:00 p.m.
Closing Remarks
Carroll Grant, Aerospace Composites Consulting

Interested in sponsoring or speaking at the event? Contact Nancy Totten, at 800.733.3976 ext. 3156 or

Event Sponsors

Radius     Smart Manufacturing logo